Mom friends, I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret. I mean, I love you and all…but I’m sorta done cleaning my house for you. In fact, the last time you came over to visit, I didn’t even clean behind my oven.
Crazy that I would forget that, right?
Actually, not really.
See, I’ve noticed there’s a sort of neurosis that overtakes some women when they are having a group of people over—especially a group that doesn’t commonly gather under said woman’s roof.
You know what happens. Guests are coming over and you suddenly realize every square inch of your house is filthy. You glove up and proceed to violate your used-to-be-good-enough-home with an inappropriately invasive cleaning.
- Should I take the knives out of the block and wipe it down?
- Should I bleach the tops of the heat registers?
- Oh. My. God. I need to take down all the light fixtures and scrub them.
- The grout line in the shower tile needs to be filled.
- I need to power wash the siding!
You transform into Psycho Mom Monster with rubber gloves and a toilet brush, screaming at anyone that lives within the four walls of your house.
You stomp around, wondering why no one can possibly keep anything clean and why can’t everyone be more responsible and why are all my family members inbred pigs and (sniff) why do I have to do (sniff) everything myself?
You flop down on the bed. You cry. You may drink.
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Listen. I love you, mom friend. I really do. But I’m not doing it anymore. I’m done. I’m done cleaning for you.
While it’s commendable that we all want to put our best foot forward, can we be real for a second? Home is where we eat and drink and fight and poop and get sick and track mud around. Home is where stuff gets cracked, burned, scratched, and flat out busted.
Where laundry machines overflow.
Where kids throw spaghettios and pudding.
Where cats puke up hair balls and dogs slobber at the windows.
Home is where life happens, and I’m sorta over pretending that it doesn’t. Now, I’m not saying we should all throw our hands up in defeat and let our homes turn into a science experiment of rotting clutter and mold. But there has to be a happy medium between an episode of Hoarders and Ms. Martha Stewart.
Let’s find that place, mom friends. Let’s go there and find peace.
Let’s not be so plastic. We invite people over to spend time with us but don’t allow them into the home we really live in. We’re hell-bent on entertaining guests in some strange alternate ultra-perfect reality that we wish existed but know it doesn’t because no breathing human being could actually do life there.
I’m done cleaning because it’s not a contest, y’all.
It’s just a house. And this is just life. And I care way more about hearing what you need to vent about than I care about the fact my sink needs to be shined.
If you come to my house right now, you will find the kitchen sink sprayer flops to one side because it’s broken. The soap dish that should be attached to the wall of my shower was busted off by my oldest son last week. There’s a little hole in my ceiling where, just recently, a plant hook pulled out and crashed—with the plant—to the floor.
But that’s okay, because I’m going to assume that you’re dropping by to see me, not to inspect the composition of my ceiling.
Is my house picked up? Usually. Unless the recurring battle of children/schedules/life has dropped another bomb of chaos in the middle of the living room. But if that’s the case, I can be okay with it because walking into a house that looks straight out of a magazine has never made me feel welcome. It makes me feel like I need to hold my breath and keep my hands to myself—and there ain’t no love in that, ladies.
Do you want to be done cleaning, too?
All I’m asking is we maybe lower the bar and stop making it a contest to see whose house looks the closest to that perfectly staged photo someone plastered all over Pinterest.
I mean, unless that’s your thing. If an ultra clean house is where you find peace, go there. You do you.
But maybe we could stop pretending there are some sort of Woman Points to be handed out to the gals whose floors you actually can eat off of. There’s really no Clean House scorecard you can redeem at the end of life for some awesome prize.
I’m not even lying.
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So, sure—wipe off the kitchen counters if the spirit moves you. Hit the spot at the base of the toilet where the urine of all pre-adult males collects. Sweep down the stairs if you want because, I get it—dog and cat hair will form its own country if you let it. But for goodness sake, if you move the fridge to scrub beneath it because you heard I’m stopping by, we need to re-evaluate our friendship.
Feel free to be done cleaning.
To be clear, if I go to someone’s house and see dust on the bookshelf or fingerprints on the glass or—God forbid—a pile of laundry that hasn’t been put away, do you know what I think?
It’s not what a lazy mom.
It’s not even my house is way cleaner.
It’s Praise the baby Jesus, this mama is just like me.